With the recent release of the Sony a7R III
, many may be wondering, "Should I get the a7R III or get the less expensive a7R II instead?" That's a very fair question, and that's why we're going to be looking at how these two MILCs (Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Cameras) stack up against one another.
Sony a7R III and Sony a7R II Shared Primary Features
Primary Advantages of the Sony a7R III over the Sony a7R II
- 42.4 MP full frame sensor
- Wi-FI & NFC
- 399 phase-detection AF
- EV -3 – EV 20 metering range
- 30 - 1/8000 sec shutter speed
- 0.78x viewfinder magnification
- Up to 4K: 3840 x 2160 30p/100 Mbps video recording
Primary Advantages of the Sony a7R II over the Sony a7R III
- Faster, more accurate AF system with multi-selector joystick for much easier focus point changes
- 425 contrast AF points vs. 25
- Up to 10 fps, 28 RAW (Uncompressed) buffer vs. 5 fps, 22 RAW (Uncompressed)
- ISO 100 - 32,000 (Exp: ISO 50 – 102400) vs. ISO 100 - 25,600 (Exp: ISO 50 – 102400)
- 3.69m-Dot Quad-VGA Tru-Finder OLED EVF vs. 0.5" 2.36M-Dot XGA OLED Tru-Finder EVF (the III has 1.5x resolution, approx. 2x luminance, 120 fps, 30% faster startup, high quality mode)
- 3.0" 1.44m-Dot Tilting Touchscreen (limited) LCD vs. 3.0" 1,228.8k-Dot Tilting LCD Monitor
- Approx. 650 frame battery life (stills, LCD monitor) vs. 340
- 5.5 stop IBIS vs. 4.5 stops
- Higher quality full-frame 4K high-sensitivity movies, improved movie AF, Hybrid Log-Gamma, S-Log3, Slow&Quick motion, Photo Capture, Proxy Recording
- Dual SD memory card slots vs. single SD (III supports high write speeds)
- Full HD 1080p video at 120 fps vs. 60 fps
- S-LOG 3 and HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma) Picture Profiles vs. N/A
- Pixel Shift Multi Shooting vs. N/A
- USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C port vs. USB 2.0
- Anti-flicker shutter timing vs. N/A
- Built-in Bluetooth, Wi-Fi (w/ftp) & NFC vs. Wi-Fi & NFC only
- Customizable My Menu
- Improved peaking, Focus magnification with AF support, Rating, Display continuous shooting group
Who should opt for the Sony a7R III?
- Lower cost
- Slightly smaller size, lighter weight: 5.0 x 3.8 x 2.4" (126.9 × 95.7 x 60.3mm), 22.0 oz (625g) vs. 5.0 x 3.88 x 3.0" (126.9 x 95.6 x 73.7mm), 23.2 oz (657g)
Those who wish to capture high resolution sports imagery will immediately appreciate the Sony a7R III's twice-as-fast burst rate (10 fps vs. 5), image grouping display, upgraded AF system and [possibly] the new anti-flicker shutter timing (it may work better under some conditions than it worked in our tests). Those using the a7R III for professional filmmaking will likely benefit from the ability to record 1080p video at 120 fps, the upgraded AF, improved peaking and the S-LOG 3 and HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma) Picture Profiles.
Wedding photographers will enjoy the added security of the a7R III's dual memory card slots, and sharing images immediately on social media will be made easier with built-in Bluetooth.
Regardless of one's specialty, the upgraded IBIS system providing an extra stop of assistance to help keep images sharp will surely be appreciated by almost all photographers. The same sentiment holds true for the a7R III's increased battery life.
Who should opt for the Sony a7R II?
As is typical of successor vs. predecessor camera comparisons, the primary reason to recommend the purchase of a camera's predecessor – in this case, the Sony a7R II – is the older camera's lower cost. And in this case, the trend continues, with the a7R II weighing in with a 25% discount (with instant rebates) compared to the a7R III.
Landscape, architecture/real estate and studio photographers, in particular, who don't necessarily need a better AF system or a faster burst rate, will have fewer reasons to invest in the a7R III's upgraded features as the a7R II's sensor provides similar, high image quality. That said, the brighter viewfinder and longer battery life of the a7R III will be welcomed even by these groups.
B&H carries the Sony a7R III
and Sony a7R II
mirrorless full frame cameras.